Learn what you need to plant flowers, how to prepare a garden bed, and plant flowers in the ground with the step-by-step spring flower DIY tutorial. This beginning gardening how-to also includes easy tips for parents (and teachers) who want to teach children how to garden.
Gardening with kids is a great way to connect with your children, teach them the basics of plant care, and sow the seeds of early learning. Use the step-by-step DIY organic gardening tutorial below to teach children how to plant flowers in your yard or garden this spring. You might also enjoy Growing Sunflowers and learning How to Make a Fairy Garden.
When do you plant flowers?
The best time to plant flowers is in the early spring after the last frost before it gets too hot and sunny, so it will vary based on the region in which you live. For most areas, it’s best to plant flowers sometime after Imbolc or around the Spring Equinox.
What do you need to plant flowers?
You will need gardening tools, flowers, potting soil, containers, pots, or a garden bed to plant in. The exact supplies you need will depend on where you want to plant your flowers, the type of flowers you want, and if you use organic soil amendments instead of synthetic fertilizers.
Best Gardening Tools and Supplies to Plant Flowers
Organic Soil Amendments for Flowers
Dirt is dead while the soil is alive and rich in nutrients. It is important to add amendments to the soil so it has enough nutrients to grow beautiful flowers. Miracle Grow is not organic. It is a synthetic fertilizer made with chemicals we choose not to use. We use the following organic soil amendments instead.
You can pick up the following organic gardening supplies with the Amazon affiliate links provided (Rhythms of Play will earn a small commission at no additional cost) or at your favorite local nursery. They are as easy to use as chemical fertilizers and are much better for the health of your plants and the well-being of planet Earth. You might also enjoy this list of Green Living Tips: 12 easy ways to reduce climate change.
- Fresh organic compost (this can be purchased if you don’t compost at home.)
- Bone meal
- Blood meal
- Soil ph tester
- Sulfur pellets or granules if the soil is too alkaline (high pH). You need to address the pH of your soil because plants can not take up the nutrients they need unless the soil is in the proper range. If the soil is too alkaline, your flowers will not grow well.
- Start by planting flower seeds in advance, or choose flowers from your favorite local nursery.
Best Way to Plant Flowers Step-by-Step Tutorial
My daughter and I are fortunate enough to have an excellent model to learn about organic gardening. My mother has an amazing organic permaculture garden with over thirty varieties of fruit trees and bushes and several raised garden beds for various herbs and vegetables.
Help children learn how to plant flowers with the step-by-step spring flower gardening DIY tutorial she helped us put together. Step-by-step written directions can be found below the photo tutorial. You might also enjoy this list of Flower Art Projects for kids and adults.
1. Gather gardening tools and supplies needed to plant flowers.
- First, decide on the type of flowers you want to plant and where you will plant them.
- Next, get the organic gardening supplies you need at your local nursery. Don’t forget to purchase a few gardening containers or flower pots if you do not have a garden bed to plant in.
- Use the organic gardening supply list that we have provided above. It’s also a good idea to ask a knowledgeable staff member at your local nursery for help.
2. Prepare the soil to plant flowers.
- Next, pull and get rid of any weeds.
- Then use a hand cultivator, digging fork, cultivating tool, or soil tiller to prepare the ground for planting by mixing and turning the top 6-18″ of soil.
- The exact digging depth will depend on the type and size of flowers that you are planting. So read the instructions for each type of flower, or ask the staff at your local nursery for help.
How we prepared our garden bed to plant flowers
- My mother used the digging fork, I used the hand cultivator, and my daughter “helped” with a leaf rake. We modeled the work, and she picked up a leaf rake to join us.
- Of course, a leaf rake is not an effective tool for cultivating a garden bed. However, the imitative action was important for her at two years old. Because using a real cultivator would have been too tough for a toddler.
- In other words, allow children to experience success as a helper, and they will be more likely to continue to help.
- Most important of all is inviting children to watch you work and help. Once they do, encourage your child’s efforts and thank them for helping. For more tips, check out 15 Ways to Raise a Helper.
4. Mix compost or organic gardening soil into the flower bed or container.
- Next, add a generous amount of compost and organic gardening soil to your flower bed (or container) and use a garden rake or a cultivator to mix it in.
- Make room and allow your children to help. They might push you out of the way. Make it look fun, and they will take away your tools screeching, “I want to do it,” like my daughter did–lol!
- Tools are magical objects for children. If you want your children to help out more around the house and garden, give them the tools they need, and you will have a helper for life.
5. Break up large dirt clods before planting flowers.
- Give this job to the kids. Playing in the dirt is a great sensory activity for the developing child. And most children love to break up the large dirt clods in a flower bed with their hands before planting.
6. Place Each flower in the ground to plant it.
Follow the step-by-step flower planting tutorial below to help you get started:
Best way to plant flowers in the ground:
- Dig a small hole with a gardening trowel.
- Loosen the root ball of the plant.
- Place the plant in the hole.
- Cover the root ball with dirt and tuck it in. To tuck the flower in, gently press the plant down into the earth.
- Repeat until you are finished planting flowers.
- Look at the step-by-step photo tutorial below with my mother’s experienced gardening hands to see each step in action.
Invite children to help plant the flowers.
- I felt like a proud mama when my daughter grabbed a trowel and began digging a hole after she watched my mother plant the first flower. Her grandmother made it look so fun she couldn’t wait to get her hands on the trowel.
- I was blown away by how delicately she handled each flower sweeping the dirt gently around each root ball. And then she excitedly pointed out that she planted a total of five flowers “all by herself!”
7. Water the freshly planted flowers.
- Water the flowers to finish planting them. This is a great job for the kids. Children love to help with watering!
- But don’t tell your children to water the flowers because that’s often the quickest way to lose your little helper. Instead, start watering the flowers as if you intend to do it yourself, and I’ll bet your kids will come to steal the hose away from you as quickly as mine does. I could barely turn the water on before my daughter screamed, “I want to do it!” Shhh–It’ll be our little secret. 😉
8. Clean up the gardening tools and supplies.
- First, put any pulled weeds lying around in your green bin,
- Next, clean the gardening tools and put them away.
- And be sure to teach children that planting is not finished until all gardening tools are cleaned and put away. Good gardening habits start young!
Gardening with Kids: The Best Way to Teach Children How to Garden
Young children are naturally imitative creatures. This means that when they are young, they learn best by watching others instead of being told what to do.
So, as mentioned in the step-by-step beginning gardening tutorial, the best way to teach children how to garden is to allow them to watch you and invite them to help when appropriate. Because kids love to imitate the “real work” they see the adults around them doing. And gardening is no exception.
In other words, do your best to become a role model to show them how the “work” is done while making room for your children to help. But no pushing or cajoling, or they might never want to join you. So allow your child to join in the work when they are ready.
Make it look fun and exciting, and your child may jump in front of you saying, “I want to do it,” just like my 2-year-old daughter does. Your child may also decide to wander off and do their own thing instead of helping. This is also okay.
Open the space to allow them to join whenever they want to. If your child decides to help, encourage their efforts and thank them for helping. Check out How to Raise a Helper for more positive parenting tips.
My daughter is finally reaching the age where she helps us with most DIY projects from start to finish. And the best part about that is she’s learning to share the work and enjoy the fruits of her labors with the rest of us because she wants to and not because she has to.
If you are curious, her favorite gardening project is her fairy garden. Click on the link to learn how to make your own! And you can see her throughout this article helping plant flowers in the photographs about gardening with kids.
Organic Flower Gardening Tips
We hope you’ve enjoyed learning how to plant organic flowers with your children with the organic gardening tips above. You may also enjoy learning how to plant a tree or this collection of fun spring activities for kids.
Learn more about Rhythms of Play HERE!